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Recall Roundup

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008

* I live-blogged this yesterday, so let’s do a quick wrap-up of what we already know and move from there

Senate Democrats on Tuesday advanced their own version of a proposal to let voters remove the governor and other elected officials, a move critics said was aimed at throwing the recall effort off track by running out the clock.

The competing Senate recall legislation would add local officials such as judges, mayors and county board presidents to the public servants who could be booted.

It also would require both the governor and lieutenant governor to be recalled together rather than just one or the other. That’s because they run together as a team in general elections, said Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago), the new plan’s architect.

* Quinn’s reaction

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Blagojevich critic and a strong proponent of the recall measure, criticized that provision in committee testimony. “I don’t believe I should have my record judged'’ based on the governor’s record, Quinn said. But he supported the measure anyway, calling it “a moment in history'’ for Illinois.

* There’s no guarantee yet that this will pass

All 22 Senate Republicans figure to support the plan. But the question will be if or how hard Jones works to keep at least 14 of his members off the ballot initiative to keep it from getting the necessary 36 votes to move to the House.

* And there’s also a disagreement on when Gov. Blagojevich might be recalled if the voters approve it in November…

…the soonest Blagojevich could be recalled would be the 2010 primary, said Sen. Dan Cronin (R-Elmhurst), the amendment’s chief Senate sponsor.

Quinn, however, said a gubernatorial recall could occur as early as “late summer or early fall” of next year.

* There is some hope among Blagojevich allies that this recall proposal might lance the boil and stop or slow talk of impeachment, and Quinn seems to be helping that along

Despite allegations of potential wrongdoing, it’s too early to launch impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his running mate said Tuesday.

As talk of impeachment echoes through the Statehouse, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said he’d rather see the state Senate give voters the opportunity to recall elected officials.

“I think its time to trust the people,” Quinn said.

* On a related note, Michigan has a recall law, and some angry voters in that troubled state are raising money and organizing to recall the House Speaker and other state legislators….

A group aiming to recall state lawmakers for approving tax increases reports raising more than $100,000 since late October.

The recall effort recently has focused on House Speaker Andy Dillon, a Democrat from Wayne County’s Redford Township.

* There’s also a recall move against Detroit’s mayor

Wayne County officials approved language for a recall campaign against Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, green-lighting the second effort to oust him since the $8.4 million whistle-blower scandal broke this year.

* The Senate’s somewhat about-face on recall was due in no small part to exploding voter anger. And that helps explain why a constitutional amendment to do away with the state’s flat-tax mandate failed so miserably yesterday. Here are a bunch of stories on that front…

* Illinois Senate rejects sliding income tax proposal

* Legislators reject possible tax overhaul

* Senate rejects income tax amendment

* Senate Dems Chicken Out on Income Tax Hike Measure

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:49 am:

    What a pretty pickle we’re in here in Illinois when the debate is over whether to impeach the governor or recall him.


  2. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:53 am:

    The more I see Recall Fever heating up the more I think it’s a horrible idea.

    Folks seem to be running with it on raw gut emotion and sure, it sounds like a wonderful populist attempt to expand democracy, but in practice it clearly is simply a handout to narrow special interests.

    In California, one wealthy individual drove the recall process. (Yes, Darrell Issa had help, but he was in the driver’s seat in terms of funding, etc.)

    In Michigan right now anti-tax hard liners are trying to recall their state’s Speaker simply because he moved forward with a tax increase (have to pay the bills somehow).

    Recall is a tool that is too easily manipulated to hold an entire state hostage to the whims of narrow special interests.

    Impeachment is a more measured, and more readily available, tool.

    Recall won’t go on the ballot til this fall and even if it passes likely wouldn’t be able to be implemented til sometime in 2009 (the spring muni elections in April?).

    Impeachment is available right this second.

    Those editorial boards ought to be calling for impeachment, not recall.


  3. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:54 am:

    PS: I wrote, “Recall won’t go on the ballot til this fall and even if it passes likely wouldn’t be able to be implemented til sometime in 2009 (the spring muni elections in April?).”

    Blago may be on trial or even in lockup by then…


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    ===Blago may be on trial or even in lockup by then===

    Highly, highly doubtful.


  5. - Crimefighter - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:12 am:

    Rob_N why does who funded the recall effort in California’s matter? How does that demonstrate that the ouster of Gray Davis and election of Arnold was a complete disaster for the state?


  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:29 am:

    Recall is the flavor of the month. It’s a pander to voters by legislators who are mad at Blago but don’t have the guts — yet — to impeach.

    Be careful what you wish for, too — The GOP pushed through the XXII amendment to preclude another FDR. What they prevented were third terms by Ike and Reagan.

    I think the Tribune editorial board is trying to show Zell that they have some populist moxy (ties off everybody, the boss is here).

    I hear there’s a move against Gov. Conan in Cally — A Total Recall. They want to terminate him, but he vows, “I’ll be back.”


  7. - T-Rex - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:29 am:

    Too bad all these clowns are not putting as much energy into a capital bill. I guess their personal agendas are not as important as our economy or public safety.


  8. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:30 am:

    Special interests *might* be able to get a recall on the ballot, but in the end the voters have to say yes. If you are arguing that the voters are too stupid to not realize what they are doing and simply get their strings pulled by special interests, it sounds like your real bone of contention is the prudence of having universal suffrage.


  9. - Q-C Transplant - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:35 am:

    A couple of items. I believe that the House and Senate cannot have a Reading of a Constitutional Amendment on the same day. If I am correct and this is the case, the House would have to have a 1st Reading on Friday, 2nd Reading on Saturday and 3rd Reading and final vote on Sunday. Also, is the House allowed to convene on non-scheduled days? I know we see this all the time at the end of session but I thought those meetings were always highly suspect since they were not scheduled and would this not be a violation of the Open Meetings Act? I know they can declare an emergency under the OMA. However, for this purpose to place a recall amendment on the ballot that would include judges, if an individual or association attempted to challenge the legality of the passage of the recall constitutional amendment, I would assume that there may be more than a few smypathetic judges.


  10. - McGruff - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:36 am:

    Sorry if I just overlooked this, but I haven’t noticed anybody bringing up the gubernatorial line of succession since the Senate vote. Enjoy…

    http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con5.htm


  11. - Garp - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    Why not eliminate the Lt Governor’s office completley if he doesn’t take office in the event of the Governor being removed. Isn’t that the whole point of the office?


  12. - Chanson - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 12:50 pm:

    This is all for naught; nothing will happen.


  13. - The Doc - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    I applaud Quinn for calling Hendon’s bluff. Hollywood is no doubt pandering to Emil Jones, and crafted the Senate proposal with the idea that Quinn, the state’s most vocal proponent of recall, would denounce it, therefore providing cover to the legislators when it didn’t pass. Truly despicable political grandstanding.


  14. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 3:06 pm:

    Leave it to Bambenek to completely misrepresent what I and others are saying.

    My contention is that it ain’t broke so don’t fix it. We have impeachment in this state. If the goal is simply to remove Blagojevich, instead of getting worked up about something that is a stretch to accomplish in the first place (because it doesn’t yet exist) our energy as citizens ought to be focused on demanding impeachment.

    The lege already has grounds given what Blago did with executive orders and budget transfers last year.

    Crimefighter, the point is that a wealthy individual (or organization) could rather easily bankroll a recall effort.

    Yes, the voters can ignore it or vote it down, but the cognitive capital wasted in alternatively promoting or opposing any given future recall will be a huge drain on the state (something “drown the government” types may favor regardless).

    There’s a reason impeachment is both difficult and easy.

    It’s difficult in that it is not directly implemented by the citizenry — it has to be initiated by one or the other chamber. This means we, as citizens, need to compel our legislators to make it happen. (In essence, a recall initiative would be a cop-out on the lege’s part.)

    It’s easy in that it is available right now (no need to wait til November to vote on creating the power) and there are no defined parameters for an impeachable offense. A given governor could sneeze funny and it would be grounds for impeachment (not saying that would be strong grounds for impeachment, but it could be used as a rationale nonetheless).

    We already have impeachment powers in Illinois.

    If you feel strongly about recall, you ought to feel stronger about impeachment — and get on the horn with your leges.

    Rich, your point is well taken, but Fitz’ pattern of past prosecutions seem to be leading in that direction regardless. Only time will tell.


  15. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 3:11 pm:

    McGruff,

    The passage you’re referring to is:

    ARTICLE V, SECTION 6. GUBERNATORIAL SUCCESSION
    (a) In the event of a vacancy, the order of succession to the office of Governor or to the position of Acting Governor shall be the Lieutenant Governor, the elected Attorney General, the elected Secretary of State, and then as provided by law.

    …I haven’t read the entire Senate version of the bill, but if it mimics California’s recall provisions then a replacement is voted on at the same time as the recall itself.

    But good point that the Speaker’s daughter is two steps away from the Gov’s office right now.


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 3:15 pm:

    ===But good point that the Speaker’s daughter is two steps away from the Gov’s office right now.===

    It’s not a good point. Blagojevich and Quinn would have to both vacate through resignation or dual impeachment/removal, or they’d have to be recalled and LM would have to run for guv in the recall election.


  17. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 5:25 pm:

    Rich, That’s what I was referring to in the sentence before the one you quoted: “if it mimics California’s recall provisions then a replacement is voted on at the same time as the recall itself.”


  18. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:30 pm:

    I don’t think Madigan necessarily wants his daughter to take over…he just wants Blago gone…I and lots of other folks couldn’t agree more…


  19. - anon - Thursday, May 1, 08 @ 12:00 am:

    Good God..all this state needs is Madigan controlling the Dem Party, the House and the Gov’s mansion. Thankfully, Pres. Obama will not let that happen!


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